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The Field Museum of Natural History Library

At the turn of the 20th century, the rapid development of motion picture technology presented a novel way to bring far-off places and peoples to burgeoning urban populations. The Field Museum Moving Image Collection documents the museum’s involvement in scientific explorations, experiences with other cultures, and public education.

Many of the Field’s films were produced in house by the Motion Picture Division, formed after World War II, and are among the most vivid visual representations of the first decades of the 20th century. A significant portion of the Moving Image Collection was created during the 1920's and 30's when the Museum sponsored many expeditions around the world. Expedition members used film to document their activities and the daily life of people they encountered.

These films include unique footage of Arctic, Native American, Central American and Middle Eastern cultures at a time when scientists were scrambling to study moments of natural and human life before they were changed by the tide of history and modernization. Many of these films were used in Museum education programs and had been an integral part of the Field’s Saturday film series for more than 40 years until the late 1960’s.

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The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
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Film of the Field Museum-Williamson Expedition to the Bahamas during the spring and early summer of 1929. The expedition was for the primary purpose of collecting material and specimens for the Museum's projected new Hall of Fishes. Mr. J.E. Williamson of New York, participated in the expedition and supplied equipment for submarine observations. Taxidermist Leon L. Pray accompanied the expedition. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions...
Topics: Expedition, Zoology, Marine Life, Scientific Collecting, Caribbean, Taxidermy
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
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The Buchen East Africa Zoological Expedition (1952), collected material for study research and a habitat group exhibition of African marsh birds. One hundred and eighty-nine bird skins and sixteen nests were collected, together with photographic studies for the background and foreground, papyrus to reproduce the vegetation, and other accessory material to construct the Marsh Birds diorama exhibition. The expedition was financed and led by Walther Buchen, Field Museum Trustee, of Winnetka,...
Topics: Taxidermy, Diorama Construction, Model Making, Birds, Field Museum
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
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Filmed at the Brookfield Zoo in 1934. Footage by C. J. Albrecht. Production by the Chicago Natural History Museum (FMNH). Scenes of animals in zoo exhibitions. Albrecht was a taxidermist at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois from 1926 to 1945. Noted for work on the "African Water Hole" diorama at the Field Museum. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured by...
Topics: Zoological Park, 1930's, Chicago, Brookfield Zoo, Animal Exhibitions
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 791
favorite 2
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Film of the Field Museum-Williamson Expedition to the Bahamas during the spring and early summer of 1929. The expedition was for the primary purpose of collecting material and specimens for the Museum's projected new Hall of Fishes. Mr. J.E. Williamson of New York, participated in the expedition and supplied equipment for submarine observations. Taxidermist Leon L. Pray accompanied the expedition. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions...
Topics: Expedition, Zoology, Marine Life, Caribbean, Taxidermy.
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 740
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Expedition led by Assistant Curator Karl P. Schmidt, herpetologist. Expedition party members include: Emmett R. Blake,ornithologist; F.J.W. Schmidt, mammologist; Daniel Clark, general assistant; and Leon Mandel, expedition sponsor. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured by contacting The Field.
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Topics: Expedition, Travelogue, Zoology, Scientific Collecting, Central America, Guatemala, Local peoples...
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
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This film was assembled under the direction of John Moyer, Motion Picture Division of the Field Museum, from miscellaneous geology footage. It was shown as part of the daily public programming activities of the Raymond Division, a public education department of the Field Museum. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured by contacting The Field.
Topics: Expedition, Scientific Collecting, Geology, North America, Colorado, Fossils
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 470
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A film record of natives and their dances. Filmed during the Arthur B. Jones Expedition to Malaysia by Dr. Fay Cooper-Cole. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured by contacting The Field.
Topics: Expedition, Anthropology, Java, Malaysia, Dances, Musicians.
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois
movies
eye 457
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Filmed during the Field Museum-Oxford University expedition to Mesopotamia, 1928. Excavation activities and the daily life of local peoples are documented. The camera operator, Mr. Showket, was hired from the Mesopotamia Studio, Baghdad. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured by contacting The Field.
Topics: Expedition, Archeology, Middle East
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 387
favorite 3
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Installation of a Cliff Swallow study case. Preparation and taxidermy of birds. Making and mounting artificial nests. Installation by John R. Millar, Curator of the N. W. Harris Public School Extension at the Field Museum of Natural History (1938 to 1946). Film edited June, 1947. 16mm, silent, B&W. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured by contacting The Field.
Topics: Taxidermy, Model Making, Study Case, Cliff Swallows, Field Museum
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 342
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Expedition led by Assistant Curator Karl P. Schmidt, herpetologist. Expedition party members include: Emmett R. Blake,ornithologist; F.J.W. Schmidt, mammalogist; Daniel Clark, general assistant; and Leon Mandel, expedition sponsor. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured by contacting The Field.
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Topics: Expedition, Travelogue, Zoology, Scientific Collecting, Central America, Guatemala, Local peoples...
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 313
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Expedition led by Assistant Curator Karl P. Schmidt, herpetologist. Expedition party members include: Emmett R. Blake,ornithologist; F.J.W. Schmidt, mammologist; Daniel Clark, general assistant; and Leon Mandel, expedition sponsor. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured by contacting The Field.
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Topics: Expedition, Zoology, Scientific Collecting, Central America, Guatemala, Local peoples and customs
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 285
favorite 0
comment 1
Expedition led by Assistant Curator Karl P. Schmidt, herpetologist. Expedition party members include: Emmett R. Blake,ornithologist; F.J.W. Schmidt, mammologist; Daniel Clark, general assistant; and Leon Mandel, expedition sponsor. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured by contacting The Field.
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Topics: Expedition, Travelogue, Zoology, Scientific Collecting, Central America, Guatemala, Local peoples...
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 273
favorite 1
comment 0
Filmed during the Field Museum-Oxford University expedition to Mesopotamia, 1928. Excavation activities and the daily life of local peoples are documented. The camera operator, Mr. Showket, was hired from the Mesopotamia Studio, Baghdad. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured by contacting The Field.
Topics: Expedition, Scientific Collecting, Archeology, Iran, Kish
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 263
favorite 0
comment 0
Film of the Field Museum-Williamson Expedition to the Bahamas during the spring and early summer of 1929. The expedition was for the primary purpose of collecting material and specimens for the Museum's projected new Hall of Fishes. Mr. J.E. Williamson of New York, participated in the expedition and supplied equipment for submarine observations. Taxidermist Leon L. Pray accompanied the expedition. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions...
Topics: Expedition, Zoology, Marine Life, Scientific Collecting, Caribbean, Taxidermy
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 242
favorite 0
comment 0
Film of the Field Museum-Williamson Expedition to the Bahamas during the spring and early summer of 1929. The expedition was for the primary purpose of collecting material and specimens for the Museum's projected new Hall of Fishes. Mr. J.E. Williamson of New York, participated in the expedition and supplied equipment for submarine observations. Taxidermist Leon L. Pray accompanied the expedition. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions...
Topics: Expedition, Zoology, Marine Life, Scientific Collecting, Caribbean, Taxidermy
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 239
favorite 2
comment 0
Photographed by Dr. Julian Steyermark, Curator of Phanerogamic Herbarium, Department of Botany, Field Museum. Dr. Steyermark led an expedition to the Chimanta-tepui region of the table mountain area of Southeast Venezuela.
Topics: Expedition, Botany, Scientific Collecting, South America, Venezuela
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 183
favorite 2
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The Mandel Caribbean Expedition, sponsored by Leon Mandel of Chicago, was conducted with his assistance and the use of his yacht, the Buccaneer, in the Caribbean region from January 1 to February 9, 1940. The expedition included Field Museum staff members Rudyerd Boulton, Curator of Birds, and, D. Dwight Davis, Assistant Curator of Anatomy and Osteology. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured...
Topics: Expedition, Scientific Collecting, Caribbean Region
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 182
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Photographed by Hugh C. Cutler in 1948 in Bolivia. Hugh C. Cutler was Curator of Economic Botany at the Field Museum of Natural History. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured by contacting The Field.
Topics: Expedition, Botany, South America, Bolivia, Local peoples and customs, Daily Life
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 174
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Filmed by Eugene S. Richardson, Jr., Curator of Fossil Invertebrates, Field Museum. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured by contacting The Field.
Topics: Expedition, Geology, North America, Scientific Collecting
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 151
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Filmed John R. Millar, Curator of the N. W. Harris Public School Extension at the Field Museum of Natural History (1938 to 1946). 16mm, silent, B&W, Accession 42. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured by contacting The Field.
Topics: Expedition, Travelogue, Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Daily Life.
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 151
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Filmed March 1974 by William Burger, Associate Curator (1974), Vascular Plants, Department of Botany, Field Museum. Edited by Douglas Harned and Robert Lieberman. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured by contacting The Field.
Topics: Expedition, Botany, Central America, Costa Rica, Scientific Collecting, Cloud Forests, Plants
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 150
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Filmed in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia by John R. Millar, Curator of the N. W. Harris Public School Extension at the Field Museum of Natural History (1938 to 1946). 16mm, silent, B&W, Accession No. 42. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured by contacting The Field.
Topics: Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Travelogue, Daily Life
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 139
favorite 2
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The Mandel Caribbean Expedition, sponsored by Leon Mandel of Chicago, was conducted with his assistance and the use of his yacht, the Buccaneer, in the Caribbean region from January 1 to February 9, 1940. The expedition included Field Museum staff members Rudyerd Boulton, Curator of Birds, and, D. Dwight Davis, Assistant Curator of Anatomy and Osteology. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured...
Topics: Expedition, Zoology, Scientific Collecting, Caribbean Region, Birds
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Samuel B. Grimson
movies
eye 114
favorite 0
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In 1931  sculptor Malvina  Hoffmann, accompanied  by photographer and  filmmaker Samuel Grimson and  secretary Gretchen Green undertook a Field Museum sponsored expedition to study people, in different  world  locales, who would  form  the  basis  for her sculptural  work commissioned for  the Hall of  Mankind exhibition at  the  Field Museum  of  Natural  History, Chicago.
Topics: Expedition, Field Museum, Travelogue, Sculpture
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 113
favorite 1
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The Mandel Caribbean Expedition, sponsored by Leon Mandel of Chicago, was conducted with his assistance and the use of his yacht, the Buccaneer, in the Caribbean region from January 1 to February 9, 1940. The expedition included Field Museum staff members Rudyerd Boulton, Curator of Birds, and, D. Dwight Davis, Assistant Curator of Anatomy and Osteology. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured...
Topics: Expedition, Zoology, Scientific Collecting, Caribbean Region, Birds
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
movies
eye 73
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Film  of  Cornelius  Crane  Pacific  Expedition, 1928 - 1929
Topics: Expedition, Field Museum, New Guinea, Sepik River
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Armand Esai
movies
eye 42
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Crane  Pacific  Expedition
Topics: Field Museum Expeditions, Collecting Activities
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 31
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Mr. Leon L. Walters,  taxidermist, making Hippopotamus celluloid acetate reproduction model, 1950. Filmed by John W. Moyer, Division of Motion pictures. All rights reserved by the Field Museum of Natural History. Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured by contacting The Field.
Topics: Taxidermy, Model Making, Mammals, Zoological Specimen, Field Museum
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 28
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Interview with Norman Tait, Nisga'a Nation. 1986 interview sharing the meaning of the dawn welcome ceremony and challenge greeting with Maori peoples at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois. Excerpt from tapes 11 and 12 Te Maori, 1986
Topics: Norman Tait, Nisga'a, First Nations, Maori, Te Maori, Field Museum, NIsga'a
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
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Interview  with  Norman  Tait, Nisga'a Nation.1986 interview sharing the  meaning  of the dawn  welcome  ceremony and  challenge greeting  with Maori peoples at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois. Excerpt from tapes 11 and 12 Te Maori, 1986
Topics: Norman Tait, Nisga'a, First Nations, Maori, Te Maori, Field Museum
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Ilinois.
movies
eye 25
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Te Maori, 1986. Welcome  ceremony  and  challenge  featuring Maori  and  Nisga'a peoples.  TC 1, 036. Part 2 U-matic  original.
Topics: Maori, Nisga'a, Te Maori exhibit, Haka, Tokomora Bay, Field Museum
The Field Museum of Natural History Library
by Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago, Illinois.
movies
eye 25
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Te Maori, 1986. Welcome  ceremony  and  challenge  featuring Maori  and  Nisga'a peoples.  TC 1, 036. (Part 2) U-matic  original.
Topics: Maori, Nisga'a, Te Maori exhibit, Haka, Tokomora Bay, Field Museum